JobKeeper 2.0 – What you need to know


The JobKeeper scheme has now changed and will now operate in two separate periods:

  • Extension 1: 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021
  • Extension 2: 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021

JobKeeper Extension 1

The tier 1 payment rate of $1,200 per fortnight applies to:

  • Employees who worked for 80 hours or more in the four weeks of pay periods before either 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020
  • Eligible business participants who were actively engaged in the business for 80 hours or more in February and provide a declaration.

For any other eligible employees or business participants, the tier 2 payment rate of $750 per fortnight will apply.

JobKeeper Extension 2

For extension 2, payment rates will be further reduced to:

  • $1,000 per fortnight for tier 1 employees and business participants
  • $650 per fortnight for tier 2 employees and business participants

The ATO website provides further information about the eligibility requirements for the extension 2 period.

Decline in Turnover Test

Both these extension periods will require satisfaction of an additional actual decline in GST turnover test as follows.

Extension 1 (28/09/2020 – 03/01/2021)
September Quarter (Jul, Aug, Sept) relative to comparable period (usually same 2019 Q)

Extension 2 (03/01/2021 – 28/03/2021)
December Quarter (Oct, Nov, Dec) relative to comparable period (usually same 2019 Q)

For further details about the eligibility requirements for the JobKeeper extension 1, please refer to the ATO website, or ask us.

How does this differ from the original JobKeeper test?

  • The decline in turnover must be demonstrated for specific quarters only.
  • Rather than using projected GST turnover for the relevant quarter being tested, you use your current GST turnover.
  • You must allocate sales to the relevant quarter in the same way you would report these sales to a BAS if you were registered for GST.
  • If you are not registered for GST, you will work out your turnover using either the GST cash or non-cash basis of accounting.

Alternative Test

Special rules exist to ensure that businesses trading (or partially trading) in a region impacted by natural disasters or drought in 2019 are not detrimentally impacted when calculating the decline in turnover tests. Assuming the drought or disaster impacted your GST turnover, the alternative test enables you to use a period in the year immediately preceding the year in which the drought or natural disaster was declared for the decline in turnover test comparison. This is, if your business was impacted by drought/disaster in the September quarter of 2019, you can use the September quarter of 2018 for your comparison period. If 2018 was also a drought/disaster zone, you can keep going back until the first year preceding the declaration of drought/disaster.

To use this test, your region must be subject to a formal declaration of drought or disaster (for example from Government) or have been publicly identified by an agency such as the Bureau of Meteorology.

What you need to do

From 28 September 2020, you are required to:

  • Determine your eligibility for the JobKeeper Extension scheme using the actual turnover test for the September quarter
  • Determine if you have any new eligible employees that were not previously nominated for JobKeeper and ask them to agree to be nominated
  • Work out the Tier 1 or Tier 2 rate of pay that you will be claiming for each eligible employee/eligible business participant
  • Notify your eligible employees which payment rate is applicable for them
  • Ensure your eligible employees/eligible business participants receive the correct rate of payment per fortnight during each of the JobKeeper Extension periods according to the two tiers of payment
  • If you are registered for GST and have outstanding BAS, you will need your BAS to be lodged for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters now (or for equivalent months, if you report monthly) so that you don’t hold up your application for the JobKeeper Extension Scheme.

The ATO has a useful one page fact sheet outlining the key changes, but please ask us if you have a question.

The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

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